Tuesday 10 May 2011

A visit to Singapore Zoo

Set in a rainforest environment, Singapore Zoo's world famous "open concept” offers the opportunity to experience and be inspired by the wonders of nature.  Home to over 2,500 specimens from 316 species, 36% of which are threatened, the Zoo has attained a strong reputation internationally for its conservation initiatives and breeding programmes.

To better meet the healthcare needs of its animals and working towards its aspiration to become a leading global centre of excellence for veterinary healthcare and research, a purpose-built Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre was set up in March 2006.  In 2009, 1.6 million visitors enjoyed the experiential learning experience at the 28-hectare award-winning Zoo.  Singapore Zoo is part of Wildlife Reserves Singapore. The Zoo is a designated rescued wildlife centre by the governing authority.

Singapore Zoo
80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826

Thursday 5 May 2011

Bintan - Up close and personal with Elephants

When we were researching on activities to do whilst we were in Bintan, and found out that we could intereact with elephants, I jumped at the chance  The last time I was up close to an elephant was when I was a long time ago back in New Zealand!

The Bintan Elephant park is home to seven Sumatran elephants, and presents are wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal with these gentle giants.

These elephants have also been trained to perform all kinds of delightful antics, such as making perfect turns on raised fore-legs astride a tiny drum-stand, swinging their trainers carefully on their trunks with a 360-degree turn or jiving to disco music.

The Cultural Show before the elephants came out.


Here come the elephants!

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Bintan Island

Bintan Island is accessible via high-speed catamarans from Singapore's Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, and takes approximately 55 minutes.

If you're using the MRT, Tanah Merah is located on the East West Line going towards Pasir Ris (or Changi Airport).  Once you arrive at Tanah Merah MRT, board bus number 35, and alight at the Terminal 4 stops later, it is about a 3 minute walk after that.  (The latter part of these instructions is taken from the gothere.sg iPhone app).

A visa is required, and you may purchase a Visa On Arrival (VOA) once you disembark the ferry at Bintan.  The fee for this visa US$10 for a 7 day visa and US$25 for a 30-day visa.  Click here to see if your country is able to purchase the visa on arrival upon your arrival.
We found that if you had the correct US dollar amount, it meant that the Visa was issued to you a lot quicker than if you didn't have the correct amount, or a different currency.  Please note however, that if you do not have the correct amount, or pay in another currency, any change given is in Indonesian Rupiah.

Singapore and US dollars are widely accepted in Bintan.  However, when we travelled out into "real Indonesia", we were able to pay with Rupiah's.

We stayed at Nirwana Gardens, (which translates into "perfect bliss).  Spanning 330 hectares of lush tropical land and powder-soft beaches, Nirwana Gardens serves up a heady concoction of five different holiday experiences.  We stayed at the Nirwana Resort Hotel.

Deluxe room at Nirwana Resort Hotel
Here are some pictures taken around the resort.

For blog post about our encounter with elephants, click here.

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